Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property

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Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property

Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property?

Pest control covers different types of pests that can invade your home or business, such as cockroaches, bedbugs, spiders, ants, fleas, rodents, possums, snakes, bees, wasps and termites.

One of more of these pests could at one stage become a problem in rental properties, and the question is often asked, who is responsible?

Throughout Australia legislation in regards to pest control can often be unclear and the tenant and even agent may interpret things differently. Local councils may also enforce the landlord to undergo annual pest control treatments for their investment properties, for cockroaches & rodents.

The tenants responsibilities include keeping the property clean and tidy, both internally and externally while the owner of the property is responsible for the safe state of the repair and to ensure that the premises is fit for tenants to reside in.

Flea treatments become solely the responsibility of the tenant. This is due to the fact that the tenants have kept pets on the property and it is not related to the properties maintenance.

For tenants who have kept pets, it is part of the lease agreement that the tenant organise a flea treatment upon vacating the property.

All other pest infestations become the responsibility of the owner; this is of course if the pest infestation was caused due to the lack of cleanliness.

Tenant is Responsible for the cleanliness of the property both internally and externally

Owner is Responsible for maintaining the property, so that it is live-able

If it is in the lease for the tenant to complete a pest treatment on vacating please explain to the tenant exactly what treatment is required. EG. Fleas

END OF LEASE pest control should be carried out AFTER GENERAL AND CARPET CLEANING.

Pest Control should be done last as washing away chemicals will not result in an effective treatment and will void the warranty period.

Responsibility Table – Based on Previous Experience.*

*(This is from our previous experience and should not be taken as law.  If there is a dispute it should be dealt with the relevant authorities in our state)



Who is responsible

Treatment frequency

Large Cockroaches



Carpet beetles







At least once a year. In troublesome areas 6mthly is preferred


If they have just moved in and they have seen fleas,


As required

If they have been there a while or are moving out and have a pet,


On vacating. After cleaning Possibly 2 treatments maybe required


If the tenant is clean


As a preventative measure, once a year

If the tenant has a lot of clutter.




As required



As required


Can be a 2 edged sword and has to be treated very delicately. If they are students or just arrived from overseas or have been travelling or have had travelers, These are HIGH RISK FACTORS.

Maybe you want to place something in the tenancy agreement

If the tenant has just moved in and says they are getting bitten or have seen bedbugs


If the tenant has been there a while


German Cockroaches

The agent or land lord should check for the presence of German cockroaches before leasing the premises.

German cockroaches are normally transported into the premises by tenant, through shopping bags and boxes

On client moving in and has found German cockroaches


At least once a year

If the tenant has been there a while